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Cheap Food Nation

The Sierra Club is America’s oldest, largest and most influential grassroots environmental organisations whose aim is simply to protect communities and the world as a whole. Bimonthly they publish a free online magazine on a wide range of topics. This month they concentrate on how the world looks at food.

I recommend having a read of it, whether you agree with their sentiment or not, as the information provided is pretty useful. Just substitute ‘America’ for ‘Britain’ as we’re not far behind. Contents include:

  • Cheap Food Nation, written by Eric Schlosser (author of Fast Food Nation and Reefer Madness), is especially interesting. He notes that “Americans spend a smaller percentage of their income on food than any other nation, but it costs [them] dearly”;
  • Produce to the People discusses how Farmer’s Markets and Community Gardens are starting to challenge convenience and fast-food stores;
  • From Cotton to Collards concentrates on Alabama’s Farmers Market Authority who are connecting consumers and farmers with a ‘Buy Fresh, But Local’ campaign in order to target obesity;
  • Ten Ways to Eat Well, Secrets of the Supermarket, Truth in Labelling and the other articles are also well worth a read.
  • The one that struck me the most and left a lasting impression was the last page of the magazine, comparing how different countries consume food. It shows four pictures, each of a family with a week’s worth of food:

    Guetemala
    Cuchumatán, Guatemala

    California
    California, USA

    China
    Beijing, China

    Mali
    Kouakourou, Mali

    Don’t just look at the foods, their apparent quality and packaging – take note of the number who must share this food.

    Well, this lunch-time I’m off to the market to get some shopping. I suggest you do the same.

    One Trackback

    1. By weblog of Carl Tashian on November 22, 2006 at 17:03

      Food links…

      This month’s Sierra Club Magazine is all about food.. here’s a piece by Eric Schlosser, ‘Cheap Food Nation’, about the high cost of cheap food. Also a [via Lloyd] Speaking of which, the Fast Food Nation film is now……